Public Picks Their Favourite New Guinea Impatiens

Wednesday 3 December 2014

Sun Harmony Compact Lavender and SunPatiens Spreading Variegated Salmon voted the RHS People’s Choice










This summer, more than 2,500 visitors to Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Garden Wisley voted in a poll to name their favourite New Guinea impatiens cultivars (‘cultivated varieties’), with Sun Harmony Compact Lavender* and SunPatiens Spreading Variegated Salmon* coming out on top.

More than 100 cultivars, supplied by breeders from all over the world, were on display between July and October 2014. Visitors to RHS Garden Wisley were invited to pick their favourites from container and border displays.

Compact Lavender was voted the most popular New Guinea impatiens grown in the borders and Spreading Variegated Salmon was visitors’ favourite container-grown selection.

Mark Heath, RHS Trials Development Manager, said: “We had some stunning cultivars but I’m not surprised by the results.

“The green and yellow leaf-marking on Spreading Variegated Salmon is so wonderfully uniform and the colour of the flower is splendid. Plus, and you may have guessed by the name, it grows with fantastic vigour – plant one in a 40cm diameter pot and it fills up in no time!

“Compact Lavender is all about flower power – big and beautiful, an absolutely gorgeous colour.”

The second most popular cultivar grown in containers was SunPatiens Compact Electric Orange and in third place was SunPatiens Spreading Variegated White. In the borders, second place was a tie between Sun Harmony Violet and SunPatiens Compact Electric Orange. In third position was Impacio Pearl.

Mark added: “Breeding of this species has increased fantastically over the past few years and a host of new selections are now on the market. However, many of these plants are being sold without a proper name and description, meaning the consumer can be baffled and confused by the number of cultivars available and purchase them without well-informed knowledge of the plant’s performance in the UK.

“It is for this reason that we held an RHS Plant Trial of New Guinea impatiens and we’re delighted to say that out of all those trialled 10 have achieved RHS Award of Garden Merit status. This means consumers purchasing these plants will be completely clued-up and the quality of the plants will be guaranteed. Having spoken to the suppliers, they are delighted and will ensure the name with the AGM logo will be used in their marketing promotions and campaigns, and the name and logo will be used on plant labels for the consumer to recognise.”


Notes to editors

For more information, please contact Garfield Myrie in the RHS Press Office on 020 7821 3060 or email  

Images are available from PhotoShelter at Registration is a simple process and free of charge. Please contact to gain access.

*About New Guinea impatiens
Developed from Impatiens hawkeri, New Guinea impatiens have long been grown as indoor plants for their attractive foliage and large, bold and bright flowers. Over the years plant breeders have introduced many new hybrids and cultivars that can be grown outdoors in summer containers and even in sunny summer borders.
The correct names for the selections mentioned here are:
Impatiens Sun Harmony Compact Lavender (Sun Harmony Series)
Impatiens SunPatiens Spreading Variegated Salmon (‘Sakimp005’) (SunPatiens Series)
Impatiens SunPatiens Compact Electric Orange (‘Sakimp025’) (SunPatiens Series)
Impatiens SunPatiens Spreading Variegated White (‘Sakimp018’) (SunPatiens Series)
Impatiens Sun Harmony Violet (Sun Harmony Series)
Impatiens Impacio Pearl (‘Impacpearl’) (Impacio Series)

About the RHS Award of Garden Merit
The Award of Garden Merit (AGM) is a mark of quality awarded to garden plants by the RHS. Awards are made annually after plant trials intended to judge the plants’ performance under UK growing conditions

About the RHS
The Royal Horticultural Society was founded in 1804 by Sir Joseph Banks and John Wedgwood for the encouragement and improvement of the science, art and practice of horticulture. We held our first flower shows in 1820, were granted a Royal Charter in 1861 and acquired RHS Garden Wisley, our flagship garden, in 1903. From our first meetings in a small room off London’s Piccadilly, we have grown to become the world’s largest gardening charity.

Today the RHS is committed to providing a voice for all gardeners. We are driven by a simple love of plants and a belief that gardeners make the world a better place. 210 years on we continue to safeguard and advance the science, art and practice of horticulture, creating displays that inspire people to garden. In all aspects of our work we help gardeners develop by sharing our knowledge of plants, gardens and the environment.

RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262



Latest press releases

About the RHS

The RHS believes that gardening improves the quality of life and that everyone should have access to great garden experiences. As a charity we help to bring gardening into people's lives and support gardeners of all levels and abilities; whether they are expert horticulturists or children who are planting seeds for the very first time.

RHS membership is for anyone with an interest in gardening. Support the RHS and secure a healthy future for gardening. For more information call: 0845 130 4646, or visit

RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262